Greece has been home to many different civilizations and groups throughout history, including the Minoans and Mycenaeans before the Middle Ages. Greece was divided into many small communities when it emerged from the Dark Ages in 8 BC. This time in history is called the Archaic Period. The Classical period in Greek history lasted from 510 BC to 323 BC, and the Hellenistic period lasted from 323 BC to 33 BC. In many ways, Ancient Greece was the foundation of Western civilization today. Many things, including government, philosophy, art, literature, and sports were influenced by the Ancient Greeks. By 30 BC, all of Greece became a part of the Roman Empire. Later, Greece became a part of the Byzantine Empire and then the Ottoman Empire. During the Greek War for independence from 1821-1832, Greece gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. During World War II, Italy invaded Greece and the country was taken over by Germany. After the end of World War II and Germany’s defeat, Greece experienced a Civil War.
The current national flag of Greece was adopted on December 22, 1978. Blue and white are the national colors of Greece. Blue symbolizes the Greek skies and sea, and white represents the clouds and waves, along with purity.
Greece is located in southeastern Europe, on the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It borders the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Ionian Sea to the west. Greece is a mountainous country with a long coastline. The country includes over 6,000 islands and islets.
World Land Mass Ranking: 97th
Highest Mountain: Mount Olympus, 2,917 m (9,570 ft)
Longest River: Maritsa 480 km (298 mi)
Greece Population: 10.7 million (as of 2021)
Capital City: Athens
Capital City Population: 3.2 million (as of 2022)
Greece has a Mediterainnian climate. Summers are usually hot and dry, while winters are cold and wet. In northern Greece, winters are cold and snowy, but in southern Greece, winters are generally mild.
Greek cuisine has been influenced by Italian, Middle Eastern, and Ottoman cultures over time. Three important foods in Greek cuisine are bread, olives, and wine. Other main ingredients in Greek cuisine include vegetables, cheeses, fish, lamb, yogurt, and grains. The national dish of Greece is baked Moussaka, which is a layered dish made with eggplants, potatoes, ground meat, and sauce. Another Greek food is called Dolmades, which are vine leaves stuffed with an herb and rice mix.
Sports have been an important part of Greek culture since ancient times. In fact, Greece introduced formal sports to the rest of the world. The first known Olympic games were held in Greece during the summer of 776 BC. Contests during this time included running, long jump, diskos and javelin throwing, wrestling, horse races, and chariot races. Many of these games are still a part of the modern Olympic games. Now, the most popular sport in Greece is football.
The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years. Ancient Greek culture influenced many civilizations, including the Roman Empire. The Greeks made many important contributions to mathematics, philosophy, medicine, and astronomy. Architecture is an important part of Greek culture and is known for its tall columns, intricate detail, and balance. Literature, theater, music, visual arts, and religion are also important aspects of Greek culture.
10 facts about Greece
1. Greece is the third-largest producer of olives in the world.
2. The euro is Greece’s national currency.
3. Greece has 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
4. Over 90% of the population of Greece is Christian Orthodox.
5. The dolphin is Greece’s national animal.
6. Greek is one of the oldest languages still in use.
7. Greece has two pink sand beaches.
8. 80% of Greece is mountainous.
9. Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world.
10. Democracy originated in Greece.